17 October 2011

Control of the Mind

“Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means for mind-control. If through other means it is attempted, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again rise up. Through the control of breath also, the mind will become quiescent, but only as long as the breath remains controlled; and with the movement of breath, the mind also will start moving and will wander as impelled by residual impressions.

The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed is the nature of the mind. The thought ‘I’ is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent, the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled, the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of God, so that the body may be preserved and others may not take it as dead.

In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is also so. Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps the breath in the body; and when the body dies the mind takes the breath (prana) along with it. Therefore, breath-control is only an aid for mind-control; it will not bring above annihilation of the mind. Like breath-control meditation on some form of God, repetition of mantras, diet-regulation, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent for the time-being.”

[Ramana Maharshi in ‘Who Am I’]

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